Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson investigates the man-made noise pollution which is becoming increasingly invasive in our lives and in our environment, affecting both humans and wildlife. He explores what noise is, the impact of man-made noise and the possible long-term consequences if we don't turn the volume down.
In the oceans, increasing levels of background noise is disrupting long-distance communication among whales. On land, studies of Great Tits have revealed how birds near busy roads sing at higher frequencies than those in nearby quieter woodlands.
In 1996 the European Commission issued a Green Paper which stated that an estimated 20 per cent of all EU citizens were exposed to noise levels that scientists and health experts considered to be unacceptable, at which most people become annoyed, sleep is disturbed and health may be at risk. Noise is a health issue as well as a nuisance. Recent studies have demonstrated excessive risks of hypertension in people living near airports, even when asleep.
Following the Green Paper, the European Commission issued a directive for member states to map noise levels of major cities. Today, noise, like air and water pollution, is an environmental issue which governments and policy makers cannot ignore.
Chris discovers that education is the first step in taking personal responsibility when he explores the potential damage of exposure to loud music in public venues or on personal listening devices.
From The Radio Times
Sound recordist Chris Watson has brought together eloquent, informed voices and harmonised them with his recordings from nature to warn of the damage wreaked by noise pollution. One contributor gives an almost poetic description of the way the ocean is layered like rock, by temperature, salinity, and pressure to create the optimum channel for transmission of complex sounds, such as whale-song, across great distances. Tragic to learn then, that this underwater symphony is being silenced by the over-bearing roar of industrialisation.
-- Jacqueline Wheeler
Type : mpeg 1 layer III
Bitrate : 160
Mode : stereo
Frequency : 44100 Hz
Length : 00:27:50
Encoder : Lame 3.97
Source : iPlayer